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Authors Jones CA, Hammer MJ, Hoffman MR, McCulloch TM
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Journal Ann. Otol. Rhinol. Laryngol. Volume: 123 Issue: 3 Pages: 174-82
Publish Date 2014 Mar
PubMed ID 24633943
PMC ID 4128397

We sought to determine whether the association between cricopharyngeus muscle activity and upper esophageal sphincter pressure may change in a task-dependent fashion. We hypothesized that more automated tasks related to swallow or airway protection would yield a stronger association than would more volitional tasks related to tidal breathing or voice production.Six healthy adult subjects underwent simultaneous intramuscular electromyography of the cricopharyngeus muscle and high-resolution manometry of the upper esophageal sphincter. Correlation coefficients were calculated to characterize the association between the time-linked series.Cricopharyngeus muscle activity was most strongly associated with upper esophageal sphincter pressure during swallow and effortful exhalation tasks (r = 0.77 and 0.79, respectively; P < .01). The association was also less variable during swallow and effortful exhalation.These findings suggest a greater coupling for the more automatic tasks, and may suggest less coupling and more flexibility for the more volitional, voice-related tasks. These findings support the important role of central patterning for respiratory- and swallow-related tasks.

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